Thursday, May 06, 2010

Smart Phone, Dumb User

I finally broke down and got a smart phone yesterday. Regular readers here know that I suffer from iPhone envy and that I haven’t been happy with my LG Voyager since I bought it almost two years ago.

Then again, one person’s trash is often another person’s treasure. When I decided to finally step up to a smart phone I handed the old phone over to Peanut. She is ecstatic. Prior to this she was using an older Motorola Razr that needed a strip of duct tape to hold battery cover on.

As for me, I am still a bit lost. While I have figured out how to do the basic tasks like make a phone call and use the GPS feature, I am still struggling to get my email to connected. Having a smart phone hasn’t made me any smarter.

Ironically, my main objection to trading up to a smart phone was the additional cost and yet adding the data feature ended up not costing me any more than I was paying previously. The reason is that I had a plan that allowed for 1,400 minutes a month. I never came close to even half that so I switched to 700 minutes which made the data addition a push.

It’s too soon to say whether the Motorola Droid will finally cure my iPhone envy.


Rob Donoghue said...

Droid's a good choice. Verizon coverage has been solid for me throughout Howard County, and the map application alone has proven to be well worth the price of admission. The fact that it can do turn by turn GPS (a feature you can get on the iphone for an extra $100) is fantastic. Just last night it found me a shortcut to downtown Ellicot City I'd been entirely unaware of.

Viva la Droid!

-Rob D.

Hayduke's Ghost said...

Not sure if you know this, but you're wading into a well of anger and hostility far deeper than any debate about development in Howard County. iPhone vs. Android is the new Apple vs. MS. Nothing but hate.

Although I'm an Apple stockholder, I try to stay out of these fights for my own sanity. I've said my piece about the iPhone.

But with respect to iPhone envy: It'll probably kick up in a couple more weeks when iPhone HD is "officially" announced.

Freemarket said...

I'll be curious to see if you purchase any apps for it.

Android tends to attract hacker app developers who make free apps for it, and attract users who are used to getting lots of awesome free software. Apple on the other hand pushes away those hacker developers by regulating the app store, and tends to attract users who are more willing to pay for highly polished apps. I have an iPhone but I prefer the droid approach to apps.

That's my ramble for the day. Btw, it's awesome that you finally got a real phone!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering how you'd come down on this issue.

Full disclosure: I own Apple and Google stock. I've been using linux and unix for years. I'm a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). I have seven...Windoze descktops and laptops, a MacBook Pro, and an iPhone.

Why do I have an iPhone? It just works.

Why do I have so many Windows PCs? Because they run a huge number of applications, and are easy to fix (for me, at least). And they are generic.

Computer? I'll fix it. Phone? I just want it to work.

ATT is ubiquitous in Howard County. In fact, I have better reception than Verizon or T Mobile in most of D.C. centric Maryland and NOVA. I even had better reception in SOVA. I have not tested this anywhere else, I'll grant you.

So, I'm torn. I like opensource, and I don't like Apple's "walled garden." But stuff like iTunes and the iPhone just work.

I'm very disappointed with the MacBook Pro--it was replaced twice in one year, for major hardware failures.

So. There's no one answer to solve your problems. Frankly, if the iPhone was not so slick, I'd trade it for a Droid--which was not available when I was shopping for a smart phone. Droid does some things very well, iPhone does most things...okay.

Frankly, I'm still torn by the philosophical differences between Apple and the rest of the world.

At the end of the day, though, the apps I use most on my iPhone are: facebook, camera, text messaging, Google voice search, and wifi finders. All are available on the Droid, along with great street maps.

The real choice breaks down to my decison with computers: do you want something that just works, or are you willing to put in the time to get or make what you want?

Okay, I'm rambling into a flame war. Glad you got a new phone!

Anonymous said...

Board of ed candidate per explorehoward:

Anonymous said...

"Having a smart phone hasn't made me any smarter."

Amen to that. They turn people into ADD/ADHD spazzoids whose attention spans are no longer than the last email they received or the last web page they were distracted with. The people I deal with who have Blackberries/smart phones are categorically among the least reliable in terms of getting stuff done.

One of my customers refused my offer of directions to my office, saying that he would use his smart phone to find it. He was half an hour late to the meeting. Now, that's smart, let me tell you.

My phone? $19.99 TracFone purchased at Walmart three years ago. It makes calls. I can talk to people and hear them. Whoopee.

Agree with Anon who said that AT&T has the best coverage around here. Even in fringe areas in Patapsco, I have bars, whereas with Verizon I didn't.

Anonymous said...

I love my Droid. I was having issues getting my hotmail to synch until I found this solution. I now have my hotmail set up to forward everything to my gmail account. Since then I haven't had any problems. Check out an apparently called newsrob. It will notify you when any of your selected Google reader feeds has an update. The dolphin browser will give you the option to add a webpage to Google reader with one touch. This makes it easy for me to keep up on my HoCo blogs. Also try the news and weather widget. You can add custom topics such as "Howard County" to view scrolling news stories about whatever interests you.

jessiex said...

As a dumb-phone-turned-smart-phone gal, I now believe it's more important to call phones such as my beloved iphone "a computer that also makes phone calls." :-) welcome to the club.